Big Blue Taxi Boss Apologises for Gojek Insult

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Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail, the founder of Big Blue Taxi Services, today made an open apology over a remark he made that had provoked the people of Indonesia, particularly those who provide and use the ride-hailing Gojek motorcycle service.

Shamsubahrin apologised to the Indonesian providers and users of the Gojek service for having labelled them as poor.


“Today, I apologise to you, the people of Indonesia, for having labelled you as poor,” he told a press conference at his office.

Shamsubahrin also said his remarks were not based on wild assumptions but on media reports about Indonesia’s economy.

“Indonesians are close to my heart. It never crossed my mind to insult them.”

He said he was contacted by many quarters over the remark.

Shamsubahrin especially angered the Gojek rider-partners in Indonesia who threatened to demonstrate at the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta.

He had reportedly said that Gojek was for the poor like in Jakarta, Thailand, India and Cambodia.

He still maintained his stand that Gojek is not suitable for Malaysia, and that there is no need for motorcycle ride-hailing services as the existing public transport situation is good compared to that of other Asean countries.

However, he said he would not oppose the revival of local motorcycle taxi service Dego Ride, adding that ridesharing services from foreign countries would have a detrimental effect on the country’s income.

“At least local products such as Dego Ride will have more control over the companies, as opposed to foreign products which can uproot and return to their countries if problems arise.

“Income generated through the public transport system from foreign companies will also flow out of the country,” he added.

Earlier, Dego Ride called on the government to prioritise local players after providing the green light to introduce motorcycle taxi services in the country.

Dego Ride was first introduced in 2016 with fares as low as RM2.50 for the first 3km around the Klang Valley.

However, in January 2017, then-deputy transport minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said he had never issued a license for a taxi service using a motorcycle, as it was in violation of the country’s road laws.

On Aug 21, the cabinet in principle agreed to the proposal by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman to bring in Gojek.

The Transport Ministry has been given a month to submit a report on the possible implementation of the service.

Earlier report: Aug 27, Malaysian Taxi Firm Founder’s Remarks About Gojek Sparks Outrage